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Brain Dopamine Receptors in Schizophrenia: PET Problems

Philip Seeman, MD, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(6):598-599. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800300096017.
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To the Editor.—  Using a radioactive neuroleptic selective for D2 dopamine receptors, Farde et al1 found no difference in the brain striatal densities of these receptors between schizophrenics and control subjects, as monitored by positron emission tomography (PET). It may be important to note that the absolute values for the control D2 densities in that study1 were much higher than those measured in previous PET studies2,3 or in vitro.4 This is indicated in Fig 1, which illustrates that the human in vitro D2 densities are between 12.5 ±0.6 pmol/g (mean ± SEM) for caudate nucleus and 14.3 ±0.8 pmol/g for putamen (N = 29; mean [±SEM] age, 34.4 ±6.6 years; using tissues from subjects 20 to 40 years of age4). Thus, the high value of 24.6 pmol/mL (or 23.9 pmol/g, since the specific gravity of human striatum


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